Ticket to Ride

Drop and give me ten.

Engineers ran into trouble planning this 14,000-square-foot skatepark, when they discovered that the proposed location near Boulder Creek had a high water table that prevented them from putting the eight-foot clover bowls more than four feet into the ground. This meant that most of the park had to be built upward, significantly raising construction costs. But the result has plenty of hips and transfers to pop off, and two pyramids that are fun if you can get over their steepness. The lack of street obstacles doesn't seem to bother the deep-rooted Boulder locals, who are concerned mostly with haulin' ass and gettin' high.

9. The Denver Skatepark

Designed by the Architerra Group in 2001, initial cost $2.9 million

The Denver Skatepark is huge, with a great location in the middle of the city, and it's lit until 11 p.m. All that is good. But skaters have mixed feelings about this park. Some like the eleven-foot-deep "peanut bowl," but almost all bitch about the slick concrete, which makes for "ice capades" on dusty or cold days. Many also feel that the original street-course area lacks flow and contains many misplaced and unusable obstacles. And while the abundance of knee-high ledges is great, some are choppy and gnarled beyond recognition as a result of the decision not to cap them with angle iron. The 2003 extension of the street section, which expanded the park's total square footage to 60,000, added a few fun elements like flatbars and low curbs, but the banks and pyramids are far too steep and often unused except by dudes on mountain bikes. Nevertheless, this park is probably the most utilized patch of public land in Colorado.

10. Mountain View Park, Cañon City

Designed/built by Team Pain in 2002, initial cost $238,000

You just can't go wrong with Team Pain, which turned out this great 11,000-square-foot skatepark in Cañon City. The snake-run-style bowl course has a spine ramp and raised corners for quick slash grinds, and surrounding the bowl like a running track are well-spaced street elements, including rails, ledges and mellow pyramids.

Honorable Mention: Redstone Park, Highlands Ranch

Designed by Design Concepts in 2002, initial cost $750,000

Design Concepts got off to a shaky start with the skatepark community when it conceived the $500,000 Greenwood Village park, which was fraught with problems from the start. But the Lafayette architecture and planning firm earned some respect with its 26,000-square-foot Redstone Park in Highlands Ranch. While the street course leaves a little to be desired in design, it still does the job. Speed demons will love the long, wide snake run that dumps into a tall, fast bowl section. There's also a beginner area dubbed the "petri dish" for its circular shape and mellow transitions, where even experts can dink around and have fun.

Wack Attack: "The Cage" Skate Park, Broomfield

Designed by Play Environments LLC in 2000, initial cost $768,000

You'll find the worst concrete work in Colorado at the clover-shaped bowl in Broomfield. As if the two-inch-wide expansion seams lining the deck weren't treacherous enough, skaters are also exposed to patches of gouged-out concrete and inconsistent, wavy transitions that nearly bury the coping. For BMX bikers with twenty-inch wheels, this might be okay, but for skaters riding on 59-millimeter balls of urethane, the diagnosis is terminal. Even worse, this skatepark -- which calls itself "The Cage," after the fifteen-foot-tall fence that surrounds it -- would still suck even if the concrete construction (courtesy Tech Constructors Inc.) wasn't so shitty. Like all cities with bunk parks (Grand Junction, we're watching you, too) Broomfield would be wise to rip out this lawsuit-in-waiting and have it rebuilt by someone who knows what he's doing before poor little Johnny eats more teeth.

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